Election Worker Defamed by Giuliani Recounts Emotional Impact


On Dec. 4, 2020, Shaye Moss, at the time an election worker in Fulton County, Ga., was summoned to her supervisor’s office, where she thought she would be getting a promotion for her hard work on Election Day, after a month of positive feedback.

Instead, Ms. Moss was shown videos filled with “lies” and unfounded accusations that she and her mother, a co-worker, had tried to steal votes in the vital swing state from President Donald J. Trump, she testified in Federal District Court in Washington on Tuesday.

From the moment she got that heads up, her life was altered. Soon, she and her 14-year-old son were inundated with threats, racist messages and calls. “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920” was one warning she received on Facebook.

“That was the day that everything changed,” Ms. Moss told a jury in a civil trial to determine what damages Mr. Giuliani should pay for defaming her and her mother, Ruby Freeman. “Everything in my life changed. The day that I changed. The day that everything just flipped upside down.”

Georgia officials quickly debunked the accusations, and a yearslong investigation cleared Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman of any wrongdoing. But Ms. Moss is unrecognizable to herself, crippled by fear, anxiety and depression, she said during hours of emotional testimony.

“I’m most scared of my son finding me and, or my mom, hanging in front of my house in front of a tree,” she said, fighting back tears, as Mr. Giuliani sat nearby, showing no emotion.

It was the second day of the trial, and her testimony brought to life the impact of the baseless accusations that Mr. Giuliani helped to promote in the aftermath of Election Day 2020. At the time, Mr. Giuliani was serving as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and helped lead the efforts to keep him in office after he lost the 2020 election.

The women are seeking compensatory damages between $15.5 million and $43 million, an amount Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer on Monday said was the civil equivalent of the death penalty.

The judge presiding over the case, Beryl A. Howell, previously ruled that Mr. Giuliani spread lies about the women, intentionally inflicted emotional distress on them and engaged in a conspiracy with others.

Mr. Giuliani has yet to testify in court, but despite the judge’s ruling — and his own previous acknowledgment that he had made false and defamatory accusations about the women — repeated his accusations on Monday evening as he left the courthouse.

“Everything I said about them is true,” Mr. Giuliani told journalists. “They were engaging in changing votes.”

On Tuesday morning, Judge Howell told Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer, Joseph Sibley IV, that comments like those could be considered another defamation claim.

When she asked if Mr. Sibley knew about his client’s statements, Mr. Sibley deflected and said he was not with him at the time, while Mr. Giuliani nodded his head in affirmation behind him. Judge Howell then asked Mr. Giuliani directly if he made those statements, and he said, “yes.”

The trial is expected to last a week. Ms. Freeman and Mr. Giuliani are expected to testify.


Source link

2023. All Rights Reserved.